Meat rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by burdboy, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just starting out I have 3 doelings and will get a buck when it comes time to breed them I'm just starting out and would love some advise and help is appreciated.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    What sort of advice?
    Feeding?
    Housing?
    Anything in particular?
     
  3. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    not really anything in particular I'm using 30 by 36 in cages from tsc and feeding them rabbit pellets and alfalfa hay
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    While they are young, free feeding is best. Once they are about 3 months old, limit pellets to about a 1/4 cup twice a day. Hay should always be available. Young rabbits and pregnant or lactating does need a pelleted feed with at least 15% protein. Mature rabbits only need about 12% protein. With hay as the bulk of their diet, you don't get nearly as many digestive issues and switching feeds is much less problematic. If you plan to allow kits to graze in tractors, you must allow your does to have some grass/weeds from the grazing area on a regular basis. This allows her to pass those digestive enzymes to her kits while nursing, and the kits will be able to graze with little to no digestive upset.
    If the cage is all wire, then you should have something in there for them to sit on, to avoid sore hocks and wear down the nails. Large flooring tiles or pieces of plywood work well. They also need things to gnaw on. Chunks of wood, blackberry branches, Lavender stems, and rosemary twigs are favorites for most rabbits.
    Also, handle your breeding stock regularly. This allows you to palpate pregnant does and check their body condition/health without causing stress.
    When it's time to breed, always bring the doe to the buck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  5. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you I'm using mutt does I got really cheap what's a good breeding die wait
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Any pellet with a protein content of between 15% and 18% will be fine for kits, pregnant does, and lactating does; and those rabbits should be offered as much as they want. Bucks and does that aren't pregnant don't need a diet that rich though, and should be kept on a rationed feeding schedule to avoid obesity. Alfalfa should be used sparingly if feeding a pellet with that sort of protein content.
     
  7. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thank you how many kits do I need to plan for and at what age can a female rabbit become pregnant ( what age do I need to seperate the baby boys from girls to prevent unwanted/ too young baby's)
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    They can get pregnant as early as 12 weeks old. But it is not advised to breed them until about 6 months of age. The number of kits varies breed to breed and from doe to doe. Most average about 5 to 8 kits per litter. California and New Zealand rabbits can average 8 to 12.
    Average processing age is 8 to 12 weeks, so if you process early enough, you don't need to worry about separating genders.
     
  9. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok thank you what age is good for breeding for the maximum number of kits
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't really want a doe to have more than 8. Most breeds tend to have difficulty producing enough milk to feed very large litters. If a doe has more kits than she can feed, a few may die from starvation. New Zealands and New Zealand crosses tend to do better with larger litters, though. This is a big reason why they are usually the most recommended breed for meat production.
    And litter size has more to do with the individual doe rather than her age at first breeding. Although, young, inexperienced rabbits might take a few tries at breeding before they get it all figured out properly.
     

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